Harmony Book Reviews

Archive for April 2008

It’s finally time for the author of the month contest! This month, you can win either a signed copy of:

Wish You Were Here or Better Latte Than Never


To enter, all you have to do is send an email to harmonybookreviews@yahoo.com with AOM Contest in the subject by May 7th. Please include your name and address.


Good Luck!


Cover ImageViolet Greenfield is a wallflower. She feels way too tall and skinny and the only two people she feels comfortable around are her two best friends. But her life changes forever when a lady with Chanel shades comes into the theater where Violet works and tells her she could be the next IT model. Soon, Violet is on a plane to New York, with other people deciding what she should wear and how she should act. She soon realizes that the life of a model isn’t always fabulous.

Violet on the Runway is an amazing book about what really takes place behind the runway, in the life of a model. The characters were realistic and three dimensional and though I know nothing about modeling, I could relate to everything Violet was going through. I must say that Violet on the Runway is way better than what I expected and it’s not your normal “Not It Girl Turned IT Girl” novel. I definitely recommend picking this book up on your next trip to the bookstore.

Becoming ChloeJordy lives by himself in a city basement. Or, atleast, he thinks he does until he rescues a girl from being raped in the street and realizes that she’s been in the basement with him all along. The girl is Wanda, who after admitting she hates her name, becomes Chloe. Chloe is a simple girl and she doesn’t understand anything until something drastic forces her to. Together, Jordy and Chloe leave the cellar and begin to make a life for themselves. As they travel across the country, they begin to realize that though the world can be a horrible place, there are many good things in it.

Becoming Chloe is one of those books where the cover instantly intriuged me and I had to have the book before I even knew what it was about. In this case, it turned out to be a good thing. I found Becoming Chloe to be an intense and heartfelt book. There’s very little time spent on unneeded detail and I enjoyed reading about the experiences Jordy and Chloe share, This is one book I won’t be forgetting soon and I really hope you give it a chance too.

There’s quite a few contests going on and instead of making a post for each one, I’m just going to put them all here, along with some other links I found interesting.

The Page Flipper is having TWO contests right now. The first is her April Prize Pack which includes Class Favorite by Taylor Morris, Totally Joe by James Howe, Hershey Herself by Cecilia Galante, Shug by Jenny Han, and Dumped by Popular Demand by P.G. Kain. The contest ends April 30th, so be sure to go check it out!

The Page Flipper’s second contest is a giveaway of five copies of Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. It ends on April 20th, so be sure to enter quickly.

The Compulsive Reader is giving away five copies of Meg Cabot’s newest paperback release How To Be Popular. There is no end date for the contest as of now so be sure to enter!

Liv’s Book Reviews is giving away a signed copy of Jinx by Meg Cabot. The contest ends tonight so be sure to enter ASAP!

That’s all of the contests I have for now but here’s some other links I found interesting…

Kelly Spitzer did an interesting interview with Lisa McMann, where she talks a lot about promoting your books as an author.

Anidori-Isilee did made a great post about using the word “appropriate” when talking about books.

Ally Carter recently made two interesting posts about Writing vs. Publishing and Why Teens Shouldn’t Get Published.

Also, Chelsea and I am starting a newsletter full of reviewer interviews, book lists, links, and the latest literary info, along with a bunch of other stuff. If you’d like to be signed up, please send an email to everythingya@yahoo.com. The first issue will be sent out soon so be sure to sign up.

And last but not least, I realize there are a lot of reviewers, etc out there that I don’t have linked to my sidebar. If you’re a reviewer (or an author, agent, etc) and would like me to put a link on my site, please let me know. I’d really appreciate it if you linked to me too.

Have a great weekend!


Cherry Cheva wrote She’s So Money, which I recently reviewed and I’m happy to be able to post this interview for you. Enjoy!

You’ve been a successful in other types of writing but She’s So Money is your first YA novel. What’s it like being a published YA author?

Awesome! It’s totally sweet to be able to go to a bookstore and actually find your own book on the shelf and pick it up. The book world is so different from the TV world, it’s just been this awesome new ride the whole way.

What was your inspiration to write She’s So Money?

Um, that time I racked up a huge fine at my parents’ restaurant and had to start a cheating ring at my school with some hot dude? 🙂 Yeah right, my high school experience would’ve been way more interesting if that were true…but I guess my memories of high school did provide the sort of background/starting-off point for the story.

Maya’s parents are very protective and worried about her grades. Were your parents anything like hers?

Oh, lord yes. They were worse! Way stricter, like, I wasn’t even allowed to go to the mall after school, much less date, so I spent my entire high school career lying and sneaking around to do stuff (they totally chilled out once I left for college though). Oh, but a big difference is, my parents would never have made me work in the restaurant if ours had been open back then; they would’ve just wanted me to be studying the whole time.

At first, Camden seems to be one of those hot, popular boys that everyone is always talking about but by the end of the book, we see a different side of him. What are your experiences with boys like Camden?

Hmmm. None, I guess, at least not in the same way. The popular guys at my high school, some of them I never talked to or interacted with because we just never crossed paths, and the ones I did talk to because they were in my classes or whatever, they were all super nice, so, you know, no Camden-ish conflicts there. Rats, I wish there were a better story here. 🙂

What character are you most like?

Overall, Maya, but she’s way gutsier than me, and more driven. If the same thing had happened to me, I would’ve just sucked it up and told my parents.

If She’s So Money were to become a movie (and you had some control), who would you want to play Maya Camden, and the rest of the characters?

Oooh. Interesting question. The Hollywood part of my head is of course going, “Who would be a box office draw? Who can open a movie?” Maybe Chace Crawford for Camden? Maya, I’m not sure that I can think of a “name” actress who’s the right age off the top of my head…yeah, this is why I’m not a casting director…you know who I think would be a really funny Jonny though, even though it probably seems a little counterintuitive given the description in the book, is that kid who played Moose in Step Up 2 The Streets. Adam Sevani.

What’s your writing process like? Do you outline or just wing it?

Outline! It always helps me to have some sort of structure where I at least know where I’m supposed to be going, even if I end up going somewhere totally different. Also with an outline I can write it out of order. Like, “ehhh, this chapter is boring me right now but this chapter over here seems fun, lemme take a whack at that one first.”

What are you working on now? What can fans expect from you in the future?

I’m in the very beginning stages of my next book, and I’m still working at Family Guy. I’ve got two episodes coming up that I wrote last year but haven’t aired yet. So watch for those!

What’s one thing that most fans don’t know about you?

I really like the word “gossamer” for some reason.

Now ask yourself a question and answer it!

What are some of your favorite lip glosses? Juicy Tubes Hallucination and Stila Melon Mint!

Thanks so much!
Thank YOU! 🙂

Cover ImageMaya has always been the good girl. She gets straight A’s in everything, tutors after school, and works in her family resturant. All of the money she makes goes directly into an account to pay for her college, which will definitely be needed if she gets into Stanford. When Maya’s over-protective parents leave her in change of their resturant for five days, she’s sure nothing can go wrong. But when a rude customer calls the Health Department and the resturant is charged $10,000, she has no clue what to do. She can’t tell her parents, she can’t tell her brother, and she definitely can’t tell her friends. She decides to make the money by herself, without telling her parents.

Camden King is the hot, popular boy that you always hear rumors about and he’s the guy Maya is tutoring. During one of their tutoring sessions, he offers Maya $100 dollars to do his homework. Maya refuses but after she finds herself needing the money, she feels she has no choice but to take him up on his offer. What had started out as Maya doing Camden’s homework soon turns into a huge cheating ring, just so Maya can pay off the fine.

She’s So Money has to be one of the most hilarious books I’ve read. Camden and Maya’s sarcastic talks always had be cracking up. Not only is She’s So Money full of hilarious sarcasm but it has a great plot line. I’d definitely recommend it, and believe me, once you read it, you’ll love it

Mitali Perkins wrote First Daughter: White House Rules, among many other young adult books. We are very lucky to have her take some time from her busy schedule to stop by and do an interview with us.

Your newest book, White House Rules is the second book in the First Daughter series. What gave you the idea to write this series? How many books can we expect to be in the series?
Dutton Books asked my agent to find a writer who could put a new twist on a political teen novel, and my agent, Laura Rennert, called me. I wrote the plot treatment and submitted it, signed the contract they offered me, and then wrote the novels.
I found the characters in the book to be so believable, especially Sameera. Is she, or any of the other characters, based of yourself or someone you know?
Thanks! My goal is to create characters with whom you feel like chatting while sipping a hot cup of tea. All my main characters have a part of me in them, the best bits.
The First Daughter series includes a lot of information on the White House. How did you find so much out about it? Have you ever been inside it?
I’ve tried to arrange tours each time I visited DC but it never worked out, so I wandered around the outside of the White House, and read, and read, and read. I used online sites, like this one: <http://www.whitehousehistory.org/>, but basically I had to engage the imagination muscle in a big way.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t read the First Daughter series yet but is thinking of picking it up?

I think you’ll enjoy meeting Sameera, spending time with her on the campaign trail and in the White House, and getting the inside scoop on life as a celeb through her eyes.
What are you working on now? What can we expect from you in the future?
I just finished a novel called Secret Keeper, a book about a sixteen-year-old girl named Asha who is a natural confidante for people she encounters. It’s set in India in 1974 and will be published by Random House in January 2009.
Can you share a little something about your road to publication? How long did it take for your first book to be published?
Mine has been a long and winding road, littered with rejection letters galore. My first book, The Sunita Experiment, was snapped up by Little Brown. My second one was rejected so many times I lost track. I revised, and revised, and somehow never gave up. ELEVEN years after book one, Monsoon Summer was published by Random House.
What advice would you give to your teen readers?
Keep exercising your imagination and healing your heart through the power of story.  
This is my dream come true, writing books, but it came true with much sweat, some tears, and a lot of ups and downs. That’s true of most dreams. Don’t give up, find out how you’re designed to serve and bless the planet, and go after it with all your heart.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If your readers have any more questions, you may visit my website,
www.mitaliperkins.com, my blog, www.mitaliblog.com, or send me an email at mitaliperk@yahoo.com. Thanks for a great interview, Harmony
Thanks so much!

I have the winners of the Easter Giveaway Contest. I picked six winners, whom I’ll be emailing soon. The winners are:  Tali, Jory, Sherry, Breanna, Lauren, and Chelsea.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I’ll be having more contests soon!

Wish You Were HereWhen Ariel gets stuck going on a road trip with her mom and little sister, she’s not the happiest person in the world. She’s much rather be at home with her sort-of new boyfriend and her cat. But the roadtrip ends up not being a roadtrip, but a cross-country trip on a Leisure Lee bus with her mom, sister, grandparents and uncle. Oh, and about fifty other old people. The only other teen on the bus is Andre, the boy who’s always underlining words. Ariel’s summer becomes slightly better as the trip continues, but when her father, who recently left the family, shows up, she’s not quite sure to do. And what about Dylan, who barely returns her emails and keeps hinting that it’s okay for her to date someone else?

Wish You Were Here was a funny and original story about love, friendship, and what happens when you get stuck on a Leisure Lee bus. Each of the characters had their own realistic quirks – Andre highlighting words all the time and Ariel sending postcards to everyone. I was seriously laughing out loud as I read this, especially at the things Andre’s mom did. The whole plot was one I haven’t read about a lot and Catherine Clark writes with such a unique style that even if it was the most over-told story, she could have made it amazing. I really suggest reading Wish You Were Here because it’s that great and I can guarantee you’ll love the characters.

Catherine Clark is a pretty amazing author, who wrote one of my favorite books, and she’s AUTHOR OF THE MONTH! So we should all have a party. Or…. You can stay tuned, read my review of her book, read an interview, and possibly win some books!

Catherine Clark, as I said, is an amazing author. Her latest novel, Wish You Were Here was recently published and I’m in love with it. She  wrote Maine Squeeze, The Alison Rules, Icing on the Cake and So Inn Love and has a few more books, Banana Splitsville, Rocky Road Trip, and Better Latte Than Never coming out later this year.

 So, welcome to my blog and thanks for being author of the month, Catherine!

  • Megan: Just read LAST CHRISTMAS. I would SOOO reccomend it to people who havent even read the private series. It is soo good.The suspense was kiling me all t
  • Lola: Oh my gosh! i just finished it....i googled the song for i had never herd it before......may have been a mistake because it is in my head for taciturn
  • mais: heeeyyyy.... can anyonePLEASE give me the link or even send me the copy of the eighth book(revelation on my email because i cant find it anywhere for